Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010
Look out world, here comes Timoteij! Thoughts on the pop group that rocked Melodifestivalen 2010 in Göteborg, in Stockholm next Saturday for Finals
Among the many hopeful performers last month
in Göteborg (Gothenberg) at the third Semifinal
of Sweden's extremely popular Melodifestivalen
singing competition -telecast LIVE by SVT-
for the chance to represent Sweden at the 2010
Eurovision Song Contest in late May in Oslo,
was a very intriguing four-woman pop group
known as Timoteij, singing what I'd call a
folk-inspired pop song titled Kom.
("Come" as in a plaintive plea.)
The band only formed in the Fall of 2008,
from some music students in the Skaraborg
area of central Sweden: Cecilia Kallin,
Bodil Bergstrom, Elina Thorsell and
Despite how talented each woman was known
to be individually, nobody could've honestly
predicted that Sweden as a whole would be so
knocked-out by them ensemble, but appealing
they are, and this has caused some pop culture
watchers to say that maybe the fog has lifted,
and that Swedish power pop has -finally-
returned to its roots, by doing what it always
did so well when it really mattered and was
actually popular outside of the country:
well-crafted songs with catchy hooks and
great harmonies that linger in your head
long after the song has ended.
Some Swedish music industry types have even
gone so far as to publicly say that this overdue
return to fun power pop is not just a very welcome
breath of fresh air, after an era where Sweden,
quite frankly, had really become a bit of a
tired afterthought musically, continually sending
performers to Eurovision that were clearly
too obscure or overtly theatrical than musical
-and sure to get hammered by judges and
millions of European TV viewers at home
for these very reasons- but an opportunity
for the entire Swedish music industry to regain
I guess we'll just have to wait and see on that,
but certainly there's a palpable sense of new
confidence there that a certain degree of
competitiveness and interest has returned.
The group's tremendous performance last month
before a nation-wide TV audience has earned
them a spot in the Finals next Saturday night at
the Ericsson Globe Arena a.k.a. Globen,
in Stockholm, where they will be one of ten
acts vying to perform at this year's Eurovision
competition being held in Oslo, because it is the
home of last year's winner, Alexander Rybak,
whose Fairytale captured so many people's
attention last year, for both good and bad reasons.
Timoteij has created quite a buzz for themselves
all over Sweden and one reason for that, though
hardly the most important one, is that they sing
in Swedish and not in English, as so many other
acts have chosen to do over the years for all
sorts of practical marketing and voting
Not that there's any consensus about the
issue, per se, since people clearly understand
why a Swedish singer or group hoping
to make it big would choose to go the
English route for the contest, but from
reading comments in different forums over
the past few weeks, people definitely seem
pleased that such a talented and immensely
appealing group has consciously chosen
to perform in Swedish, not Engelska.
Their harmonies are tight and heavenly,
as you'll hear for yourself when you watch
Melodifestivalen's homepage for Timoteij
is at http://svt.se/2.121002/timoteij?lid=puff_1786706&lpos=lasMer
Hanna intervjuar vinnarna i Göteborg Längd: 03:10
An SVT promo from December 21st, 2009 Timoteij utklassade alla
Interview on SVT's Gomorron Sverige with
Cecilia Kallin and Johanna Pettersson of
The groups's website is at http://www.timoteij.se/
And just when you counted them out, Slovakia,
yes, Slovakia, goes "Solid Gold" in its entry,
almost like they could get votes from South Florida
precincts, with the lovely Kristina singing her
heart out about Horehronie, a beautiful region of
You know what they say, after the country girl
has seen the bright lights of Bratislava, there's
just no going back to the farm!
FYI: One of my former housemates from Arlington
is a member of the Foreign Service stationed in
Slovakia shoots and it scores! Here's the travelogue version of the song
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...
This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.
Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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